Brann Dailor of Mastodon said in a recent interview with Revolver Mag that the passing of their manager, Nick John, will be a central theme in their upcoming album. John had passed away in 2018 due to pancreatic cancer after working with the band for 14 years.
“As far as the subject matter is concerned, it’s gonna be about Nick John after everything’s said and done,” Dailor said in the interview with Revolver Mag. “Of course, it’s going to be a fantastical representation to mask the true emotion of the situation, but it’s probably going to be Nick John-centric because that was our guy and we lost him and he deserves nothing less than an album’s worth of material that’s centered around his passing.”
Mastodon has released several works related to late members of the band’s circle, including 2009’s Crack The Skye which focused in part on the loss of Dailor’s sister, Skye Dailor, and 2017’s Emperor Of Sand, which focused on family members who had passed away due to cancer. Dailor also hinted that the album would have some focus on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the ways in which being in lockdown has effected each band member.
“That was a huge blow to us,” Dailor said in the interview. “We lost one of our favorite human beings, and it just came out of nowhere. It really sucks. So that’s what we’re thinking about – plus all this shit that’s happening now. It’s the craziest time that we’ve experienced as human beings, so how are you not gonna reflect that in what you’re creating artistically? It would be impossible to sidestep it. It’s going to be about going insane in your fucking house.”
Guitarist Bill Kelliher said earlier this year he feels the upcoming album may turn away some fans, as the album may have a slightly different sound than what they are used to. He had hinted at the band having about 20 songs at the time, with Dailor stating in his interview that Mastodon “has too much material at the moment.” In addition to working on their new album, Mastodon will be releasing Medium Rarities on September 11, which will include previously unreleased live performances and B-sides.
Photo credit: Owen Ela